Plans stall for advanced nurse regulation

Nurses have warned the public could be at risk after a health watchdog failed to recommend a separate register or tougher regulation for advanced practitioners.

Jenny Aston
Jenny Aston

A report by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE) on advanced practice says employers and the NMC should be responsible for making sure nurses operate within their level of competence.

The report says the CHRE is ‘unconvinced that what is often called "advanced practice" in many professions represents such a significant shift in practice that it is inadequately controlled for through current arrangements'.

But Jenny Aston, chair of the RCN's Advanced Nurse Practitioners' Forum, said she was disappointed, and believes public safety remains at risk.

‘We've just been sent back to the NMC for them to make the decision, basically. We have to ask them: "How are you going to make sure people are safe, operating at this level?" ' 

 ‘It's disturbing we've had three years of work and this report, yet we are no safer,' said Ms Aston.

The NMC has supported the idea of a register of advanced practitioners since 2005, but progress has been slow.

An NMC spokeswoman said there were still concerns about advanced nursing roles but the issue would be developed when work on revalidation begins in 2011.

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